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Board names new CEO for Family Trust

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Penny Pratt of Sumter, who has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry, has been named president and CEO of Family Trust Federal Credit Union, according to Brown Simpson Jr., board chairman.

Pratt, currently executive vice president and chief operating officer of SAFE Federal Credit Union, will replace Lee Gardner, who retires Dec. 31 after leading Family Trust 37 years. Pratt begins her role as CEO in mid-January.

“We knew it would be difficult to find a new CEO of Lee Gardner’s caliber,” said Simpson. “With Penny, we found a leader who is as strong in strategic planning and operations as she is in employee development and member relations.”

Pratt has been at SAFE, a $1 billion credit union, since 2007 when she served as vice president of lending and senior vice president of lending and sales. She has received awards for lending excellence, sales and leadership. SAFE has 113,000 members and nearly 20 branches in 10 cities and at Shaw Air Force Base.

She previously worked at Xerox Federal Credit Union and Rochester Community Savings Bank. She earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from State University of N.Y. at Oswego, and a Master of Business Administration and Policy from State University of N.Y., Empire State College. She is active in the Rotary Club of Sumter, the Sumter Housing and Economic Development Corp., and serves on the board of directors for Leadership Sumter.

Gardner, who worked briefly in banking, joined Family Trust in 1979 when it was still known as Rock Hill Printing and Finishing Co. Federal Credit Union. During his tenure, the credit union became known as Family Trust, acquired a community charter that opened the membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in York County, and has grown to more than $440 million in assets. There are now seven branches and over 50,000 members.

“Family Trust is committed to giving back to the community and I’m confident Penny will continue that tradition,” Gardner said. “Her contributions prove she has a heart for community service.”